a very celebrated Athenian artist, whose workmanship belongs to the more ancient school, the description of which by Lucian (Rhetor. Praecept.
100.9) bears an exact resemblance to the statues of Aegina. For this reason, and because the common reading of Pliny (Plin. Nat. 34.19
, in.), " Critias Nestocles," is manifestly corrupt, and the correction of H. Junius, " Nesiotes," is borne out by the Bamberg manuscript, Critias was considered by Müller (Aegin.
p. 102) to have been a citizen of Aegina.
But as Pausanias (6.3.2
) calls him Ἀττικός
, Thiersch (Epoch.
p. 129) assigns his origin to one of the little islands near the coast of Attica, and Müller (Wien. Jahrb.
xxxviii. p. 276) to the island of Lemnos, where the Athenians established a cleruchia. All these theories were overthrown by two inscriptions found near the Acropolis, one of which belongs to a statue of Epicharinus, who had won a prize running in arms, mentioned by Pausanias (1.23.11
), and should probably be restored thus:
Κρίτιος καὶ Νησιώτης ἐποιησάτην
From this we learn, first, that the artist's name was Critios, not Critias; then that Nesiotes in Pliny's text is a proper name. This Nesiotes was probably so far the assistant of the greater master, that he superintended the execution in bronze of the models of Critios.
The most celebrated of their works were, the statues of Hannodius and Aristogeiton on the Acropolis.
These were erected B. C. 477. (Marm. Oxon. Epoch.
lv.) Critias was, therefore, probably older than Phidias, but lived as late as B. C. 444, to see the greatness of his rival. (Plin. l.c.
18; Paus. 1.8.3
; Ross, Kunstblatt,
1840, No. 11.)